Maybe it's because I'm tired, maybe because the cooling night air is no longer the invigorating elixir it once was to me, but the lone cricket is making me sad. Farther off a single dog barks, probably disturbed by a passing raccoon. A car goes by on a nearby road, and its sound takes a long time to fade to silence, gone somewhere I'll never know where.
Another night wheeling by, the half moon slowly making for the horizon where it will vanish hours hence. Where the clouds pass the stars appear as though revealed by a theater curtain opening, but the celestial play is stillness and silence. There is no drama there. The drama is in the lesser silence here, after the car has passed, after the dog has barked, between the chirps of the lone cricket. The world holds its breath, waits for the story to begin, but I have forgotten my lines. What tension!
You Reading This: Stop
by William Stafford
Don't just stay tangled up in your life.
Out there in some river or cave where you
could have been, some absolute, lonely
dawn may arrive and begin the story
that means what everything is about.
So don't just look, either:
let your whole self drift like a breath and learn
its way down through the trees. Let that fine
waterfall-smoke filter its gone, magnified presence
all through the forest. Stand here till all that
you were can wander away and come back slowly,
carrying a strange new flavor into your life.
Feel it? That's what we mean. So don't just
read this—rub your thought over it.
Now you can go on.